grilled veggie primivera au gratin

OMG this dish was not only beautiful but it was so very delicious and  so very cheesy. A wonderful way to celebrate garden freshness and yet more cave aged cheesy goodness.

This dish is a whack of veggies slowly roasted with herbs and garlic then combined with my favorite Italian semolina pasta and tossed in a thick and creamy 5 cheese sauce and quickly broiled until it is bubbling and “goozing” * this is a phrase my daughter coined a few months back, which we use all the time to describe perfectly gooey-oozing things.

So in a sense this is just mac and cheese… but it’s packed with enough veggies to keep mom’s happy, and enough flavor and texture to keep the veggies going down.

Roast:

Start by chopping a medley of your favorite veggies into similar bite sized bits, I used tomatoes, onion, red peppers,carrots, garlic and zucchini. Then I tossed them in olive oil, sea salt, fresh parsley, a drizzle of lemon juice, black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Roast on high heat (400) for 25-35 minutes, tossing at least once during the roasting. Once charred to your likeness set aside.

Cook:

1 package of your favorite pasta, when finished strain (reserving some pasta water) and toss with the roasted veggies. If you are going GF and using straight up rice noodles leave them ever so undercooked to avoid expanding broken noodle bits, as you will be re-baking them for at least 10 minutes.

Finally the 5 cheese sauce:

In a heavy bottomed pan melt 3 tbsp of butter

then add 3 tbsp of any flour (rice flour works just fine if you are going GF)

stirring often season with nutmeg, sea salt and cayenne.

Cook the roux for about 3 minutes before adding 2 cups of farm fresh milk.

Add a tbsp of course mustard and black pepper.

Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken, before adding 2 cups of grated cheese whatever you have, and a bit of everything if you have a good selection. Robust cheeses and aged sharp selections add a depth to cheese sauce that you will not get if you use only mozza or some other mild cheese. Taste your sauce and salt as needed (depending on the saltness of the cheese you added). If you need to thin the sauce use the reserved pasta water for this.

Slather pasta and veggies in sauce, and put the works into a nice oven safe casserole dish. Cover the top with a handful of grated cheese and garnish with more fresh parsley and pepper. bake and broil until perfectly “goozing”. One of the nice things about adding roasted tomatoes to this mac and cheese is that you end up with a bit of a rose sauce!

happy plate licking!

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